Desk Makeover: Part 1

Back in October, my grandmother gave me a desk that she bought but wasn’t using. She really wanted it to get used so she asked if I needed one. Remember my desk in my studio? It didn’t take me long to shout yes. (I hope I didn’t actually shout.)

The desk came back to my house and then sat in two pieces (or maybe more like 6) in my living room waiting for me to do something with it. Four months later, I started. Yay. It will only take me four more months to finish it. (Oh, please, oh, please, let me be lying!)

Here is what the desk looked like in it’s before state. It is a slide-down-top desk (uh huh, that’s Suki language for ya). The “drawer” is a keyboard tray. Underneath you can see the two organizers that go on the desk top part.

Real exciting post, right? Coming up: Taking it apart. And painting it. It’s not solid wood. And how to do it in the winter. When it’s cold and snowy. And you have no workshop type place.


West Elm Inspiration

I love magazines and catalogs! Do you? I don’t subscribe to very many but I’m considering changing one subscription to something else I like better…

At some point in recent history, I must have signed up to receive the West Elm catalog. Goodness knows I’ve never purchased anything from there. I chose a few things from their catalog to share. These are just some things that are inspirational to me and may or may not show up in my home in one form or another. But most likely my own version cause these are West Elm priced (aka, Way Super Out Of My Budget If I Want To Do Anything Else).

Disclaimer: I feel like I should add a short disclaimer about how West Elm doesn’t know or care about who I am. As such, I’m not getting paid to write about their stuff. Which is probably a good thing considering what I plan on saying… hee hee! Read on!

Small Round Hanging Capiz Pendant. They have a larger version that is rectangular in shape. You may or may not have seen it around. I really love this smaller version. I can see this in my entry way. I think it’d be perfect for that space! A little feminine bling. Enough for me and maybe enough for my husband. Except for the price tag. Some people have DIY’ed this. I have a perfect idea on how to DIY for a whole lot less than $129.

Ever since I painted stripes in my family room, I have been loving stripes. Especially wide stripes. Ooh, love them. This yellow–excuse me, citron and white striped duvet cover and sham looks awesome! But we’re not doing yellow… citron in our bedroom.

But we do have a hall bathroom that could use a makeover sometime in the probably way distant future and this could certainly fit the bill as a shower curtain! I’ll have to think on that. Would wide horizontal stripes in a small bathroom be too much? (Also, I have to add that I saw yellow and white stripes several times in their catalog and not just for products. Some were painted on the wall. And always wide stripes. Sometimes vertical. Always lovely.

I love the look of these two toned baskets!  These could find their way into our bedroom makeover. But not likely because I’m not too sure on the price/size but it sure would look good! They can hold the extra pillows for our bed during the night. And maybe an extra throw blanket for those why-are-you-making-me-so-cold-my-dearest-husband nights.

Aren’t these wooden ombre vases so cool?! I love the look of them but they have no place in my house. Too many different wood tones and I go cuh-ray-zee.

My daughter saw this picture and said “bottles!” When I turned the page, she asked “more bottles?” Ahh, a girl after my own heart! I adore bottles. As in… adore. I have even pulled bottles out of a dumpster because they were so purty. These ones are pretty too. A simple bud vase or maybe you’re one of those people who collects sand. Or something like that.

Those who know me well know I love blankets. I cannot sleep at night without some sort of covering and a sheet is usually too light. My living room makeover list includes some small-ish, lightweight blankets that are easily stashable for when we are watching some TV.

I love this in white. The price for the headboard alone (king size) is $499. The bedframe is a whole lot cheaper! On a side note: love that wide plank flooring.

This tree stump side table is something that I definitely want somewhere someday! In fact, I have a piece of wood drying out in my garage right now. I’m hoping it turns out one of these months.

That is it for today. I hope you enjoyed some of these pictures as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by!

Taming The Mess

Have you ever heard “it has to get worse before it gets better”. The process of organization rarely goes from bad to good. It goes from bad to worse to good. Yesterday I showed you the good. Now I’ll show you my crap. You know you want to see it…

At the time of this picture, some things had been moved around. The window not shown has blinds as is evident to me because of the ladder and the drill. The wire shelving moved over to another corner. And some totes showed up.And then there’s just stuff on the table along with my bag I won from a thirtyone giveaway. Awesome bag.

Ahh, the small desk. With crap on it. Laptop… printer… crap… I have a laser mouse and it does not like my desk. I was going to make a mouse pad but it also doesn’t like fabric. It doesn’t like cardboard. It likes magazines. So that part isn’t crap. There’s another mouse… pens… paper waiting for me to print out the rest of it so I can finish a side table makeover… a stack of cds (under the printer)… like I said. Crap.

And we move along the journey of the studio. This time I had started getting this room into shape. You just can’t tell it from this picture. More stuff on the table. The wire shelving is moved… again… but only because something else was in its place.

Were you tired of looking at all the piles and unorganized mess? I got these cubbies on clearance. I originally bought only nine (this picture). Then I bought three more at my husband’s suggestion–who was I to complain??

So I’m slowly getting the room into usable shape.  Anyone else move at a snails pace when you are dreading the work? I can’t wait for it to be clean again–I mean, I obviously can wait. But I know there is stuff on that table I don’t want to deal with which is why it’s sitting there. I put on my big girl pants and got to work during Kaelyn’s nap.

Anybody else take forever to get rid of empty random boxes because you never know when you need them? They came in handy finally. I labeled each box–as you can see. When Jared saw them he said “lots of lameness all around”. He didn’t deny that I was lame. Sad day. But so true.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that everything fit into the boxes. The only things I left on the table was the iron, a few baskets, that sort of thing. Very few items. I haven’t even touched the floor and the wire shelving yet because that is all remaining in the room and just needs… wait for it… storage! Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Anywho. Here are my boxes sorted. Which box had the most stuff, you ask? It kills me to admit it. Stuff that had a home but wasn’t put away. If it has a home, I have no excuse for it just being out! So dumb. It was super easy to put that box away so I started with it first. I did that today. Sorted it into which room it went into and then poof! The box was empty.

The box that I really don’t want to take of because it is the reason I was dreading clearing up that table is the “needs a home” box. These are items that… has never had a place to call home. I have two much larger boxes in the living room of stuff like this. This box will probably join those boxes until I have homes for them. I don’t want to just spend money to storage. I want to like the solution and know it works for us. And I want it to be quality. So as much as I’m tired of seeing those boxes and being reminded that we’ve lived in this house for nearly two years and there are STILL boxes to be put away… it will be a while longer. Ugh.

Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Dining Room to Studio

My Home Goals post showed a picture of my studio back when it was empty. Shortly after moving in, we bought a dining room table from Goodwill. Oh, and eight folding chairs to surround it. And that was pretty much the extent of our dining room. A place my family could sit when they came over. Fast forward a year and a few months.

Our dining room was rarely used. We rarely had people over. And when we did, it tended to be enough people to sit at our kitchen table. My family wasn’t over enough to warrant having a dining room table available all the time. Time for a change of plans. I was already semi-using the dining room as a sewing place. I was supposed to be in the family room right next to the dining room but that nice big empty dining room table called to me.

Jared agreed and I moved my stuff in. I didn’t paint or anything. I wasn’t sure the direction I wanted the room to go in. And I had other priorities. I was pleased when I moved everything in. Funny how time changes your outlook on a space…

Yup, no blinds. No curtains. That’s changed now. One of the two windows has blinds. The other set of blinds (plus two sets for the family room) is sitting in a corner waiting to be hung. And has been since October. Or was it September? Judge not!

Ha! Look at how LITTLE stuff I had back then! This worked then. It is so laughable to me now. The sad truth is that my stuff grew and my storage didn’t. If you remember from my home goals post, you read “storage, storage, storage” for this room. I’ve addressed some of the storage needs. Holy avocados, I have a lot of stuff. For me.

It was nice to have the iron right behind where I was sewing. Super convenient for ironing seams and hems. I’m probably going to be hanging it in a different corner though. Having it out = another space to accumulate stuff.

My dress form. Actually, not mine. My sister’s. And that is my mom’s coat that I made although in this picture it was still waiting to be finished.

The last corner of this room held a small crappy desk. And it still holds this small crappy desk. It just doesn’t look so empty. The printer got moved to this desk. Yes, imagine my laptop AND the printer on that desk top. I WANT MY SPACE. Underneath is our files (hehe, yup, a small thing) and a shredder. I can’t remember what I kept in that bag because I don’t use it anymore.

At the time, I just loved having my own space. And I still do! I just want it to be more functional and pretty and usable.

Next Post: Taming the Mess. I haven’t been able to appropriately use this space since Thanksgiving-ish. It’s past time to reclaim my space!

Goals for My Home 2012

First off, welcome! I’m so thrilled that you stopped by today. This is my very first post on this blog (I am separating family posts from project posts) so it is very empty around here right now. It reminds of when we bought our first (current) house. We signed all the bajillion papers and as soon as we had the key in hand we raced over to our very first home. Our stuff wasn’t going to be there for at least two more weeks but we didn’t care. It was ours. And it was empty. Oh so very empty. But it was so exciting to think of how we would fill it. That is how I feel right now with this post. I’m standing on the threshold with a twinkle in my eye!

Writing down a list of things I wanted to do for my home this year wasn’t something I was going to do. I made a list for last year and… well, it WAS a very ambitious list. My percentage of what got done wasn’t very high. (Although I did do things that weren’t even on the list.)

Then The Nester informed me blogged about a party she was hosting where you can link up your home goals. Well, okay. If you insist. I love her and her blog.

I’d like to think I’m older and wiser (notice the and–it’s a key word in that phrase) than last year so maybe I can do better with my list. Plus, what a better way to kick off my brand new blog than to tell you some of what I’d like to accomplish this year!

We have no “finished” room in our house. We basically took everything from our apartment and spread it out in this much larger house. We’ve acquired a few new items and a lot more toys (although some will certainly scoff at what I call a lot of toys!) but our home is certainly lacking in many basic items and that is one of our main focuses this year.

All these pictures are from before we even saw the house. My dad took them all. More pictures of where I currently am with each space will be posted!

Family Room: The largest room in the house. And in dire need of functional organization. It works for us but it isn’t pretty and it isn’t us and it just is. I don’t want our house to just be. I want it to breathe and exude us. Things on our list–

  • New furniture
  • Change TV placement
  • Toy storage
  • Reading nook
  • Storage ottoman
  • Rug

My Studio: In reality it is the formal dining room. But we were using it as a dining room so very few times out of the year. We are brainstorming ideas to still allow us to expand for when we have extra people over but decided the best use of this space was to turn it over exclusively to me. Super happy dance! It is adjacent to the family room so I can work while being close to my daughter. My goal is to make it good enough to be functional and somewhat pretty. Eventually I will make upgrades for it to be what I truly would like but probably not this year.

  • Desk
  • Storage, storage, storage
  • Paint

Master Bedroom: My husband doesn’t know this one is on my list yet. He would prefer having the areas that are seen by other people to be done first. I’ve been feeling a lot more lately that our bedroom should be an oasis. We should like being in there and it should be peaceful to us. (My dad didn’t have a good picture of the bedroom as a whole. Here are our “master” closets.)

  • Bed frame and headboard
  • Lamps
  • Side table
  • Full length wall mirror
  • Closet curtains instead of doors
  • Rug
  • Sitting area

Miscellaneous: There are other things throughout our house (and outside) that we’d like to get to this year.

  • Remove the bushes from the front of our house
  • Remove the large tree in our backyard (yes, it makes me super sad but part of it fell down last year and now we know that the tree is rotting–better to take the tree down than rebuild our house) (oh, that tree is smack dab in the center of the picture above. This picture makes it look small but I promise you that it’s not)
  • A toddler bed for my daughter complete with her own comfortable pillow and blanket
  • A kitchen island

That’s not TOO big of a plan, is it? My husband is on board with me this year. He wasn’t so much last year. I think we can get many of these things done. Except maybe the rugs. But it is a plan!

So there you have it. A written plan that you can hold me accountable to! I mean, so I can not be so daggone distracted. I’m pretty certain finishing a project is above my pay grade. Thanks to the Nester for hosting the linky!

Welcome and Hello!

Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere! Put your feet up, snuggle in a blanket, and grab some hot apple cider. I’m thrilled to have you here.

My name is Suki and I live with my husband, my daughter, and two cats.

My husband, Jared, pretty much lets me go at whatever I want to do. If I need his participation, I should be prepared to beg, plead, and cajole for help! He really isn’t much of a DIYer. He doesn’t really see the vision until it is in front of him. Which means that it’s no longer a vision and what’s there is there. I love the challenge of making sure that we are both going to be pleased with whatever it is that I do! He is a great guy. Love him to pieces. I’m so glad he is supporting me as I am making this jump to a more “professional” blog.

I’m so blessed to be able to “stay at home” with our daughter, Kaelyn. She is such a sweetheart and a smarty pants. She lights up our lives with her bright smile. She didn’t have a good sleep schedule for a long time so the first time she slept for two-three hours at nap time, I didn’t know what to do with myself!

Our cats, Kara and Jaeden, do not get along with other cats. They love us however. Jaeden begs like a dog and sleeps at our feet. Kara is slightly more cuddly and sleeps by our heads. They usually steer clear of not-regular-people-in-the-house and if we are gone for an extended period of time (overnight or longer) they get really needy and we practically trip over them when we return.

I dabble in many things but if I had to categorize my interests in one word, I’d choose … nope, I got nothing. I don’t know my style but it sure is fun figuring it out! I love to sew, craft, sing, read, paint (walls & furniture – no art from this moose), and exercise. I have quite the list of Things I Want That Are Expensive much to my husband’s chagrin. They include a Bosch mixer for my kitchen, a serger for my sewing corner, and a silhouette. So once I have $1000 to drop, you know what’s happening.

This blog is a place where I can share my efforts in turning our house into a home we love. We have a limited budget (just like you!) and since Jared is willing to leave it all to me, I wanted a place where I could show off what happens. I know that this will only make me better at everything I’m trying to do! And kick my booty in gear so that I get stuff done instead of just planning to get stuff done.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to drop by!